The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has updated its 2008 Smoke Free Policy to include the use of e-cigarettes.
The policy applies to all staff, patients, visitors and contractors.
“As a health promoting organisation,” a spokesperson said, “the Trust continues to be concerned with achieving and maintaining smoke-free environments for all.
“The use of e-cigarettes has gathered popularity; however these products have yet to be deemed to be safe and effective by a competent regulatory authority.
“Therefore, in line with recommendations provided by the Public Health Agency and the British Medical Association, the Trust does not permit the use of e-cigarettes by staff, service-users, visitors and the public in Trust smoke-free areas, including Trust Buildings, substantially enclosed outside areas and workplace vehicles.”
According to the Trust some 24% of people in its area are smokers and around two-thirds of them want to quit.
“If you are one of those people who want to quit,” the spokesperson said, “you are four times as likely to succeed if you have support.
“The Southern Trust has a strong track-record of helping smokers to set quit dates and to successfully remain quit after four weeks, thereby increasing the likelihood of remaining quit for good.”
Free help to stop smoking is available from the Trust Stop Smoking Service.
Said the spokesperson: “For an appointment ring 028 3741 5333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A qualified Stop Smoking Specialist will take you through the stages of stopping, including preparing to stop, actually stopping and staying stopped.
“This will include advice on using a regulated and licensed nicotine replacement therapy to help quit smoking. Combined with Stop Smoking support this is the most effective way to succeed in quitting smoking.
“Further information is available at www.stopsmokingni.com.”